Predicting athletes' functional and dysfunctional emotions: the role of the motivational climate and motivation regulations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Montse C Ruiz
  • Saara Haapanen
  • Asko Tolvanen
  • Claudio Robazza
  • Joan Duda

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Jyväskylä
  • University of Chieti-Pescara


This study examined the relationships between perceptions of the motivational climate, motivation regulations, and the intensity and functionality levels of athletes' pleasant and unpleasant emotional states. Specifically, we examined the hypothesised mediational role of motivation regulations in the climate-emotion relationship. We also tested a sequence in which emotions were assumed to be predicted by the motivational climate dimensions and then served as antecedents to variability in motivation regulations. Participants (N = 494) completed a multi-section questionnaire assessing targeted variables. Structural equation modelling (SEM) revealed that a perceived task-involving climate was a positive predictor of autonomous motivation and of the impact of functional anger, and a negative predictor of the intensity of anxiety and dysfunctional anger. Autonomous motivation was a partial mediator of perceptions of a task-involving climate and the impact of functional anger. An ego-involving climate was a positive predictor of controlled motivation, and of the intensity and impact of functional anger and the intensity of dysfunctional anger. Controlled motivation partially mediated the relationship between an ego-involving climate and the intensity of dysfunctional anger. Good fit to the data also emerged for the motivational climate, emotional states, and motivation regulations sequence. Findings provide support for the consideration of hedonic tone and functionality distinctions in the assessment of athletes' emotional states.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1598-1606
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number16
Early online date26 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Anger, Anxiety, Athletes/psychology, Athletic Performance/psychology, Ego, Emotions, Female, Humans, Male, Motivation, Psychometrics, Social Environment, Surveys and Questionnaires, Young Adult